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Pawsitive Kids Camp, Inc.: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This amazing grant opportunity was used to fund our collaborative Pawsitive Kids Camps, in which local children are teamed up with rescue dogs from Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue, Inc. During the week-long camp, the children work on self-control, behavior management, boundaries, self-esteem, and so much more, all while training the dogs to become more adoptable and building a relationship. At the end of the week they host an adoption event to show everything they have learned. The grant money was utilized so that all the children got to experience the full value of camp with all supplies being purchased and provided for both the children and the dogs. The money not only provided for a full camp with PACE Center for Girls, another collaborative, but also in the community.

The grant helped provide needed supplies to update our equipment and ensure all the children and dogs have what they need during the week of camp. The Brooke’s Legacy dogs were able to have their needs in their foster homes for the week, their needs during the camp hours, and the children were able to have all the needed mental-health, craft, and activity supplies needed for success and a memorable week. One of the best opportunities our camp gives the children is their own scrapbook to work on and take home during the week so that they have a lifelong memory of everything that they did with their camp dog!

How many pets did this grant help?

So far the grant has helped 20 dogs, but with the replacement of needed supplies, that will continue to pay it forward and help more dogs during future camps! On average it should assist 35 or more dogs per calendar year.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

PACE Center for Girls Immokalee is a school for girls who are in need of credit retrieval, have attendance issues, or have other personal reasons that keep them from being successful in public schools. It provides a small private school setting for just girls. This grant was able to provide eight girls with the opportunity to have a camp just for them during school hours for one week in January. The school helped pick the eight girls and the dogs were carefully matched with them. This school is over an hour away from camp leaders, so the dogs and leaders took a long ride to the school and back each day as the dogs were all fostered near the main camp office. The school provided an extra counselor during the week. One particular girl was withdrawn, yet engaged with her camp dog. We learned that her mother had severe mental health issues and that this had begun to impact her involvement in the camp, yet she got her to school to work with her dog. As the week went on, you could see the confidence and joy come across this child as she worked with her dog and they found success in training and bonding together. When she was able to get her somewhat timid dog to allow strangers (other teachers in the school) to approach and pet her at the end of the week, all involved stood in awe!

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